In the three years since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, the state has seen an economic boom, with marijuana sales bringing in $700 million in 2014 and the state expecting to collect $94 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales in 2016.
While the legalization of marijuana has had a positive impact on the state’s economy, the state’s largest city is facing a housing crisis, as steeply rising home prices are pricing out much of the city’s population.
The New Republic does a deep dive into the issue and its causes, which is more than just people moving to the state to express their freedom.
From the New Republic:
J.P. Speers, a real estate broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, believes that legal marijuana has pushed the housing market up. Between millennials who are influenced to move by the idea of legal access to the drug and out-of-state entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in the industry, Speers says people want to be in Denver. “I do believe that there has been a huge amount of individuals who have moved out here specifically for the marijuana industry, and it has affected the housing market,” he said.
According to Speers, because many banks won’t lend to the marijuana industry, many entrepreneurs are moving to the state to start their own “extralegal” marijuana-growing operations, buying up homes in cash and driving the prices up.